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Active Shooter Training: Tulsa area law enforcement breaks down procedures

Posted at 4:49 PM, Jun 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-07 17:09:26-04

TULSA, Okla. — Two different active shooter situations — one in Tulsa and one in Uvalde — saw different law enforcement responses though both ended tragically for several families.

It took law enforcement nearly an hour to get inside and end the incident in Uvalde in which the gunman killed 21 people. It took Tulsa police about five minutes to respond before the gunman killed himself after four others.

"I can't imagine what the parents of these kids went through during that event [in Uvalde], and certainly hearing how long it took officers to get inside is very troubling to me," said Tulsa Police Capt. Mike Eckert, the commander of the Tulsa Police Department's Special Operations Team.

The Special Operations Team serves high-risk search warrants, responds to armed and barricaded subjects with hostages, and deals with civil unrest and dignitary protection.

Eckert says the response time seen in Uvalde wouldn't have happened in Tulsa.

"From the perspective of the people in Tulsa that we serve, I can tell you from the training we do, if that shooter is active, then the number one priority is stopping the violence by whatever means necessary," Eckert says. "Even in our training evolutions, we don't talk about if it happens, we talk about when it happens so that we understand how prepared we must be on a daily basis."

A few hours after 2 News interviewed Eckert, his team responded to the shooting at the Natalie Building on the Saint Francis Health System campus in Tulsa. Calls about an active shooter rolled in around 4:53 p.m. and the first officer arrived and announced their presence at 4:56 p.m. The gunman killed himself at 4:58 p.m.

Sand Springs Deputy Police Chief Todd Enzbrenner said they just sent seven of their officers to the latest "LASER" active shooter training in March.

"Armed and barricaded is a thing, but it's not a thing when it involves children and an active shooter situation — they are different protocols," Enzbrenner says. "Basically, it's a single, person, single police officer element that just goes in and finds the shooter and eliminates them."

He says as soon as a call like that comes out, his officers are trained to respond immediately with lights and sirens on.

"Studies have shown when active shooters hear law enforcement coming, they end their life or they flee. Which that is what we want. We want them to stop killing people," Enzbrenner says.

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